Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's A FINE Shrubbery.... A tour of the WOF Greenhouses

Welcome back... to Part II of the March 23, 2011 Off Season Tour. For some this part is going to seem dreadfully boring, almost like "Living with the Land" at the EPCOT pavilion at Disney World. Some think its the most boring ride ever conceived... Some like Jeff and I ... love it. Some have absolutely NO IDEA what I am talking about. :)

If you do then you know whats coming up. If you don't .... well if you ever get down to WDW in Florida, then you will have a taste of what the ride is like. Worlds of Fun since day one, has had a large selection of plants, many tropicals, many annuals, many everything else in between. Of course we know over the preceding years that landscaping at Worlds of Fun just isn't what it used to be. HOWEVER, that being said its still pretty nice I think. Really you have to appreciate a group of people that can grow Elephant Plants and Sago Palms as big as we will see here in just a minute. Seriously.

With that being said for years I have wanted to voyage into the WOF greenhouses. After all we all walk by them on the walkway to the gate from the back lots. They are right there on your right. As a plant lover I have always wondered exactly what it looks like in the winter with all the plants all cooped up. Well folks for those still interested we are going to show you.

Of course I can't really "show" you the 80ish degrees, with 100% humidity, rain forest feeling, but just imagine a day in June, and you will get the idea.

First lets start with some annuals. Lots and LOTS and LOTS of annuals. I believe these are pansy's. Here is a link for what they look like with color. Worlds of Fun still starts all of their annuals from seed. From what I have been told, today that process is exceptionally rare, and is in many ways a lost art.

The pansy's have some unidentifiable friends here on the other side of the greenhouse.

Moving on, we have more future flowers being started. In this case some Cannas. Here is a photo of what they will look like when full grown. Worlds of Fun used to use more of these but they have recently been replacing them with bushes...

Ever wondered what happened to all those potted palms, and hibiscus? If you look to the far left you can see the annuals we just looked at. If you look to the far right you can see some of the park's hanging baskets.

Here is a closer look at some of those hanging baskets. This is just SOME of them.

A "few" topiary pots, and if you look to the right you can see a MASSIVE Elephant Foot plant. There are actually two of them side by side. These are usually in the African section. I personally have never seen one anywhere outside WOF as big as these, and supposedly neither has any of the other WOF landscapers. This is what they USUALLY look like. Behind the elephant plants are two Tequila plants. These are usually in Americana near (appropriately enough) the Blue Bronco. Yes folks Tequila plants are really used to make Tequila alcohol.

Some more tropicals. In this photo we have a few palms at front, several banana trees behind them, and to the far left the park's collection of rubber tree plants. I am still trying to figure out WHY I can't grow them that big at home.

Welcome to Cacti-land. Last year the park did a nice cactus garden over by the Icee Stand/Custer's Last Stand. Some cactus here you probably won't ever see in the park though. Especially the tall one's, supposedly they are worth quite a bit, and we all know how long they would last... Not ... Very.... Long.

I have no idea what this plant is specifically. If anyone knows let me know. Its pretty cool though.

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